News & Announcements
Ice Bridge: An Airborne Mission for Earth's Polar Ice
Professor Eric Rignot describes the science objectives of NASA's IceBridge Mission
IceBridge is a mission directed project that will continue an important time series of observations of ice sheets started in the early 1990s. IceBridge is operating on airborne platforms in Greenland and Antarctica for the next five years with the main instrumental goal to bridge the gap between the ICESAT laser altimetry mission and the ICESAT-2 follow on. This instrumentation is used to measure volume changes of the ice sheet and deduce the contribution of ice sheet to sea level. The mission will however address broader science objectives, including measuring the discharge of ice into the oceans comprehensively, documenting the patterns of thinning and acceleration of key outlet glaciers to better characterize the dynamic response of ice sheets, and collect critical data on glacier thickness and depth of the sea floor in front of the glaciers or beneath their floating extension so that modelers can better represents ice sheet and better constrain their interactions with the surrounding oceans. These data will fill critical voids in our knowledge of ice sheets and pave the way to the development and evaluation of more realistic models of ice evolution, which can in turn be used to provide more realistic predictions of the future contribution of ice sheets to sea level rise.
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